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Caution on Burnett, Praise for Jeter

Two quick thoughts:

"Still a few bugs in the works, old boy." (AP)

1: It's academic for the moment, what with Freddy Garcia having guillotined his finger, but I know the Yankees are not going to be overly swayed by A.J. Burnett's performance last night. It's a baseball cliche that a pitcher "scattered" hits as Burnett "scattered" 10 hits in 5.2 innings last night. It would be far more accurate to say that a pitcher got pounded and then got lucky on balls in play and bad baserunning. This is particularly true of Burnett last night, when he was helped by a Jeff Francoeur caught stealing and double-play balls from Johnny Giavotella and Eric Hosmer. Burnett is a flyball and strikeout-oriented pitcher who doesn't normally convert many double play situations--we're not talking about Tommy John or Greg Maddux here. In short, there is very little about this start that can be taken as a sign of a turnaround. I suppose one could get excited about Burnett allowing only one walk (albeit with the bases loaded), but the Royals aren't a particularly patient team.

2: Since I was relentlessly down on him in the first half, it's only fair that I note that in 34 games since coming off of the disabled list, Derek Jeter has hit .326/.382/.457 with eight doubles, two triples, and two home runs. It's a close approximation of peak Jeter, and a wonderful, pleasant surprise.